Students call award assembly dress code ‘sexist’

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DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Catholic schools are known for their dress codes, but students at one school are up in arms, saying a school event dress code is sexist.

“People have been kind of shocked by this, and it was just kind of a slap in the face,” said Betsy Pieper.

Pieper, a senior at Dowling Catholic High School, is fed up with a newly-released school event dress code.

The private school’s top students received an invitation to a scholastic achievement assembly.

“I’ve been working really hard these past four years, so I was excited to end up getting some recognition for it,” she said.

Her pride quickly turned into anger when she flipped over the invitation and found the firmly worded dress code.

“There’s some pretty sexist stuff on the back, which was kind of frustrating for me,” said Pieper.

The boys’ requirements are one line, which ends by telling them to “be classy.”

However, four full paragraphs follow for the girls, dictating dress from head to toe in extensive detail.

One line reads, “Choose an outfit that is pretty enough to show you are a woman and covered enough to show you are a lady.”

“Here it kind of implies that you have to be pretty in order to be a woman, as if that’s your worth,” Pieper said.

“I definitely think that they’re trying to eliminate bad judgement, but I think it’s kind of unfair,” said Luke Colosimo.

The dress code is causing a social media firestorm, with students calling it sexist.

Dowling leaders say it is completely appropriate.

“Understandably, there is more attention given to the recommendation and guidelines for our female students because there are more styles and options available for them,” the school president said.

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